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Building Store Foot Traffic in 2022

Before the pandemic, you took pride in managing a well-organized, clean, and inviting retail space staffed by knowledgeable, helpful employees. You did everything right to bring customers in and keep them coming back by offering great products and great service, but now, they’re not coming back. Perhaps they’ve become accustomed to the convenience of online shopping, or maybe they just forgot about you. How do you bring those customers back to your physical location? Here are four ideas for increasing your foot traffic in 2022.

Develop Your Online Presence

Wait, aren’t we trying to get customers to come to the store rather than shop online? Why focus on online channels? Your ecommerce platform doesn’t have to replace your physical store. Many consumers treat a website like the catalog they used to receive in the mail, browsing items and then coming to the store to shop. This is especially true of luxury shoppers. While most consumers research online before making a purchase, buying at a brick-and-mortar location is still the favored option for luxury purchases, with 90%-95% of consumers preferring to purchase diamonds in person. It makes sense; it’s a big, important purchase, and most people are more comfortable talking to a salesperson and seeing the item for themselves.

If consumers need further incentive to buy in person, you could offer discounts on in-store pickups or advertise sales not available online. Curbside pickup and Buy Online, Pickup In Store (BOPIS) became attractive options during the pandemic, and many customers expect that convenience to remain after the pandemic.

In addition to offering pick-up options and incentives, it is important to maintain consistent branding across all channels (physical store, website, social media). This consistency will ensure that your online presence is attracting the right kind of customer to your brand. Align the tone and mood of your social media posts with the aesthetic and overall “vibe” of your store, including pictures of your store that give some insight into the experience a customer is missing out on by shopping online.

Recognize and Nurture Customer Loyalty

Even more important than bringing in new customers is making sure existing customers come back again and again. But loyalty isn’t given unconditionally; it’s a reward for great service. If you show your devotion to a customer, they are more likely to return the favor. But it works both ways: 66% of customers will stop shopping at a store if they are not recognized as a loyal customer. That’s why it’s so important to make sure to show customers your appreciation for their continued support. Send special offers to your email list, and make sure to maintain different lists that target specific customers: customers who bought a particular product (“you liked that, so we thought you might like this”), customers who have purchased multiple items, customers who bought something in the past but haven’t returned (“we miss you!”), etc. Such email campaigns are called nurture campaigns, meant to nurture a relationship between business and customer. Create relationships, show your appreciation, earn loyalty.

Host In-Store Events

In-store events that take the form of classes or workshops give retailers a chance to get to know—and make a positive impression on—the types of people who could become customers. They also provide an opportunity to network with professionals in other fields, tap into their customer base, and grow your businesses together.

For example, you could bring in a stylist to help customers figure out what type of jewelry goes with their skin tone or their overall style, or to get ideas about matching jewelry to different outfits or events, such as weddings. Without booking guests from other fields, you could host a class on diamond appraisal, or give a presentation on ethical and sustainable mining practices.

To maximize results, in-store events should be planned ahead of time, promoted on social media, and advertised through the most effective channels. Such events also offer another opportunity to nurture brand loyalty. Send an email invitation to your most loyal customers first, allowing them to RSVP before anyone else, and enlist their help in gathering attendees.

Offer Additional Services

Another way to keep current customers coming back is to offer additional free services. When someone buys a watch, include free maintenance and battery replacements. Most jewelers already offer free jewelry cleaning to their customers. Still, this is a service that should be advertised. Make sure potential customers and returning customers alike know that you will be happy to clean, inspect, and repair their jewelry purchases. This type of service goes a long way to building relationships with customers, leading to repeat sales and referrals.

Sales and promotions aren’t the only ways to increase foot traffic. In a world of online convenience, sometimes you have to get creative to get customers through the door. Sometimes it starts with where they are—their phones—and sometimes it’s about providing value to a consumer independent of expecting to make a sale, such as in the case of hosting in-store events. Have you come up with any creative solutions for increasing foot traffic? Let us know!